Guy Ritchie‘s adaptation of Aladdin is trying to stay one jump ahead of the original animated classic.
Now that the production has cast its two leads of color after a comprehensive and troubled search, Disney’s next live-action project is turning its eyes to its script. To rewrite the screenplay, Disney has hired former Game of Thrones screenwriter Vanessa Taylor.
Taylor has been hired by Disney to rewrite the original script by John August (Go, Big Fish) and Ritchie, according to The Tracking Board.
Taylor is known for writing three episodes of the HBO series in season 2 and 3: “Garden of Bones,” “The Old Gods and the New,” and, “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” On the film side, she’s also co-written the screenplay for Divergent as well as Guillermo del Toro‘s upcoming dark fantasy, The Shape of Water.
The Tracking Board describes the direction that the Aladdin live-action will be taking as a mixture of the animated classic’s story, as well as the original folktale that was first told in the epic Arabic story collection One Thousand and One Nights — akin to what we learned at the D23 Expo a few weeks ago.
“Disney’s live-action Aladdin draws inspiration from both the 1992 animated classic as well as the folktales of The Thousand and One Nights. Like the animated version, Ritchie’s Agrabah will be a vibrant, cosmopolitan city inspired by locations and cultures from the Middle East to India and China.”
Whether Taylor will be altering the latest draft of the script to be different than that approach, or whether she is actually sprucing up the script to be more in line with that description is unknown.
I’ll admit I balked a bit when I saw Game of Thrones and Aladdin in the same line. I dislike Hollywood’s obsession with aping the brand of epic grittiness that Game of Thrones has made popular, and it seems incongruous to pair that vision with the family-friendly Aladdin. But it’s also Guy Ritchie, a director known for making films with stylized bursts of violence, so what could I expect? But Taylor’s work with del Toro’s The Shape of the Water encouraged me, and proves that she has more range. Perhaps Aladdin will be more mature and violent than the other Disney live-action adaptations, but it could provide a refreshing departure from the animated films that the Beauty and the Beast and Jungle Book seem so eager to stick by.
Aladdin has cast Mena Massoud (Jack Ryan) and Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) as Aladdin and Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie. The production will presumably look to cast the villainous Jafar and Iago next. Ritchie is producing the film with Dan Lin while Jonathan Eirich is executive producing. Marc Platt (La La Land) and Chris Montan (Frozen) are both consulting on the movie.
Aladdin is scheduled to begin production in London next month.
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Source: Slash Film